Spring is here and the summer grilling season is just around the corner. Looking for an easy-to-make appetizer for your next party that’s impressive, too? Luau Bites bring the flavors of summer to your party without having to grill outdoors!
With pre-planning, Luau Bites are an easy party appetizer that can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven before your guests arrive. Served on pineapple rings, they make a beautiful presentation and your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen making this delicious appetizer just for them!
Here are a few pre-planning tips to insure that your Luau Bites leave you stress-free and with time on your hands to enjoy your guests:
- Buy whole water chestnuts and slice them in half so that you have two “coins” from each water chestnut. The pre-sliced water chestnuts are just too thinly sliced; 9 times out of 10, the pre-sliced water chestnuts will break when you skewer them with a toothpick.
- This recipe makes 14 bites. That’s because 7 slices of thick-sliced bacon fit on my large baking sheet! So, if you are expecting a crowd and want to double or triple this recipe, you will need multiple baking sheets and cooling racks.
- Pre-cook the bacon to lessen the cooking time AND so that you don’t overcook the pre-cooked shrimp!
- This recipe can be pre-made a few hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Increase baking time slightly to account for refrigeration.
- If you don’t have two cans of pineapple rings in your pantry, use one can and serve the Luau Bites on a round platter. Place the nine rings in a circle on your platter, top each one with Luau Bites and place the remaining 5 Luau Bites in the center of the platter.
1/2 of an 8 ounce can of whole water chestnuts, drained and rinsed – cut 7 water chestnuts into two “coins” (save the rest for another recipe)
7 pieces of thick-sliced bacon, cut in half to make 14 pieces, each slice about 4 to 4 1/2 inches long
14 pre-cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp (26-30 count size – about 1/2 pound), defrosted per package instructions
14 pieces of pineapple chunks (about 1/2 of a 20 ounce can of pineapple in 100% pineapple juice), drained (save the rest for another recipe)
1/2 cup of favorite barbeque sauce, divided (1/4 cup for bacon and 1/4 cup to serve on the side)
2 (20-ounce) cans of 100% pineapple juice pineapple rings, 14 rings drained and patted dry (each can has about 9 rings; save the rest for another recipe)
2 green onions (green part only), chopped (save the white parts for another recipe)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and place a cooling rack on top of the foiled-lined baking sheet.
- Place bacon halves on cooling rack.
- Add barbeque sauce to a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each slice of bacon with barbeque sauce.
- Bake for 15 minutes until slightly cooked (not crispy).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool to touch.
- Once bacon has cooled, place one shrimp in the center of each bacon slice; top with one piece of the pineapple chunks and one slice of the water chestnuts.
- Holding shrimp, pineapple, and water chestnut in place on top of bacon with one hand, use your other hand to wrap the bacon around the shrimp, pineapple, and water chestnut.
- Skewer all pieces (bacon, shrimp, pineapple, and water chestnut) with a toothpick and return to baking sheet/cooling rack.
- Repeat until all are skewered and placed on baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until bacon is cooked and slightly crispy (do not burn!).
- While Luau Bites are cooking in the oven, place the pineapple rings on a large serving platter; these will be the “bed” for your Luau Bites.
- Remove Luau Bites from the oven and place one on top of each pineapple ring on the serving platter.
- Sprinkle with sliced green onions and serve remaining 1/4 cup of barbeque sauce on the side as a dipping sauce.
Makes 14 Luau Bites. Enjoy!